Testosterone is the hormone that makes a man, well – a man. It contributes to body hair growth, muscle mass, sex drive, and fertility. A man’s testosterone level naturally drops as he ages. In fact, testosterone levels begin to decline gradually once a man hits 30, after peaking in the late teens and 20s.
Some men may also experience low testosterone due to certain medications, medical conditions, or an injury to the testicles, where testosterone is mainly produced.
If you’re having trouble in the bedroom, that’s just one possible sign of low testosterone levels. Many men with erectile dysfunction do have clinically low testosterone levels, but many men experience other uncomfortable symptoms, too.
At Ferguson Family Medicine, we consider the following five signs as potential indicators of low testosterone levels.
1. Decreased interest in sex
Aside from erectile dysfunction, you may just experience a decreased interest in having sex. Sexual desire can reduce as a natural effect of aging, but if your libido drops suddenly and drastically, it could be low testosterone levels.
Okay, losing just the hair on your head has a genetic component and can be a natural result of aging. But if you start to lose body and facial hair as well, low testosterone production may be to blame.
3. Poor energy levels
Low testosterone can cause a drop in your energy levels. You may feel exhausted even though you regularly get a full night’s sleep, or you find motivation to exercise or do other activities is hard to muster.
4. Changes in body composition
Testosterone plays an important role in your body’s ability to build muscle. If you have low testosterone, though, muscle may be harder to pack on even if you’re spending time at the gym. Your body instead becomes adept at putting on body fat. You may even develop the dreaded man boob, which is called gynecomastia. We can help you with weight loss, whether or not it’s due to declining testosterone levels.
5. Mood and memory changes
Low testosterone levels can also cause changes in your mood. You may find yourself feeling depressed, irritable, or unable to focus. Testosterone loss may also contribute to a failing memory and overall cognitive decline as you age.
If you have some or all of these symptoms, we may test you for low testosterone. Of course, first we’ll rule out other issues that could be causing your problems, including high blood pressure or diabetes.
What tests show
A “normal” range of testosterone is about 300-1,000 nanograms per deciliter. If you have a low number, you may benefit from hormone therapy. If your levels are low due to another cause, such as cancer, cancer treatment, or chronic illness (diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or kidney disease, for example), our doctors will treat these conditions first. We develop a comprehensive treatment plan that helps you improve your testosterone levels.
If you’re ready to investigate uncomfortable symptoms that are causing you to have low energy, libido changes, and an increase in body fat, call Ferguson Family Medicine or book an appointment online. We’re committed to optimizing men’s health with hormone therapy, lifestyle change support, chronic disease management, and weight-loss programs.